Nutrition and Food Science, Dietetics Concentration, B.S.

Nutrition and Food Science

Earn a Dietetics concentration in Nutrition and Food Science to start the journey to becoming a registered dietitian.

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Nutrition and Food Science, Dietetics Concentration, B.S.

The Dietetics Concentration in the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science is offered through the College of Behavioral and Health Science at MTSU. The Dietetics Concentration is an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics, the first step required to become a Registered Dietitian. MTSU’s DPD is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800-877-1600, ext. 5400.

Everyone must eat, but does everyone know the most cost-effective, tasty, and healthy way to do so? The Nutrition and Food Science major in MTSU's Department of Human Sciences is designed to train students to apply the science of human nutrition and the art and skills of food preparation to improve the health of their clients. Students who wish to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RD/RDN) must complete a four-step process including:

  • Completion of an ACEND accredited DPD, such as the MTSU program.
  • Completion of an ACEND accredited dietetic internship program. Effective 1/1/2024, a master's degree will be required to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration RDN credentialing exam. The graduate program is often offered congruently with the dietetic internship.
  • Completion of a Master's degree (new requirement as of January 1, 2024).  The graduate program is often offered congruently with the dietetic internship.
  • Passing the national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR's Website at www.cdrnet.org. In order to maintain the credential, an RDN must complete continuing professional educational. Note: Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) requires a minimum of a Master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD at MTSU are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program. For more information about educational pathways to become an RDN please visit www.eatrightpro.org/acend/students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students. Students with baccalaureate degrees in other areas may complete the DPD requirements at MTSU. Transfer students must meet with the DPD Director to determine which courses will be accepted toward the MTSU DPD program.
  • Graduates have a higher match rate of 100% than the national rate of 82% (average for last three years) for obtaining competitive spots in post-baccalaureate dietetic internships.

Students may take some of these courses online or in the traditional classroom format. For students interested in taking any of the above courses online, please access Distance Learning to obtain information about D2L, the online platform used and other beneficial resources to help you be a successful distance learning student.

Careers
Requirements
Faculty
Information
Careers
Requirements
Faculty
Information

News Briefs

Two senior dietetic students won first place at the College of Behavioral and Health Science Scholars Day event

Two senior dietetic students won first place at the College of Behavioral and Health Science Scholars Day event

Two senior dietetic students won first place at the College of Behavioral and Health Science Scholars Day event. Letisha Bates and Logan Dowd won first place with their project titled "From PCOS Perspectives to Evidence- Based Nutrition Information: Bridging the Dairy Divide."

"Murfreesboro City Lifestyle" Magazine Feature

"Murfreesboro City Lifestyle" Magazine Feature

Two class of 2025 senior dietetic students, Audrey Waite and Hanan Baba, were featured in the Murfreesboro City Lifestyle’s summer magazine. Try their delicious Mediterranean dishes shared in the following link:
https://citylifestyle.com/articles/summertime-mediterranean-inspired-dishes

News Briefs

Two senior dietetic students won first place at the College of Behavioral and Health Science Scholars Day event

Two senior dietetic students won first place at the College of Behavioral and Health Science Scholars Day event. Letisha Bates and Logan Dowd won first place with their project titled "From PCOS Perspectives to Evidence- Based Nutrition Information: Bridging the Dairy Divide."

"Murfreesboro City Lifestyle" Magazine Feature

Two class of 2025 senior dietetic students, Audrey Waite and Hanan Baba, were featured in the Murfreesboro City Lifestyle’s summer magazine. Try their delicious Mediterranean dishes shared in the following link:
https://citylifestyle.com/articles/summertime-mediterranean-inspired-dishes

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CAREERS

Nutrition and Dietetics is a highly versatile profession. MTSU's degree will provide you with the academic foundation to pursue your dreams and help lead you down many fascinating career paths. What an exciting time to choose a career in nutrition and dietetics!

Dietitians are a trusted source for evidence-based nutrition information.  You will find them working in:

  • Corporate wellness programs
  • Diabetes clinics
  • Extension
  • Grocery stores
  • Hospitals
  • Journalism
  • Private practice
  • Public health clinics
  • Restaurants
  • Schools from elementary to universities
  • Sports nutrition programs

Employers of MTSU alumni include:

 

  • Davita Dialysis Clinic
  • Fresenius Kidney Care
  • Halcyon Health
  • Health at Apple
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Morrison Management Specialists
  • Nashville Nutrition Partners
  • National HealthCare Corporation
  • Noom
  • Nutrition-In-Sight, LLC
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • ShareCare, Inc.
  • The Hope Clinic
  • The Kroger Little Clinic
  • TouchPoint Support Services
  • True Course Nutrition
  • TrustPoint Hospital
  • TwelveStone Health Partners
  • VA Medical Center
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center

REQUIREMENTS

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FACULTY

INFORMATION

Mission Statement

The mission of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is to prepare students for supervised practice and to become competitive entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who are committed to practice in a dynamic and diverse global society.

Goals

  1. Prepare graduates for acceptance to and success in supervised practice and graduate school.

    Objectives for Goal #1:

    1. At least 80% of enrolled students will complete the program within 3 years (the planned program length for the Jr./Sr. cohort is 2 years).
    2. At least 75% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
    3. Of program graduates who apply to a supervised practice program, at least 75% are admitted within 12 months of graduation.
    4. 80% of supervised practice/graduate program directors responding to a survey will rate program graduates' preparation for supervised practice as "above average" or better. 5=excellent, 4=above average, 3=average, 2=below average, 1=poor
  2. Program graduates will provide competent, evidence-based practice to individuals, families, and communities.

    Objectives for Goal #2:

    1. The program's one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
    2. 80% of program graduates responding to an alumni survey will rate the quality of their preparation for supervised practice programs as "above average" or better. 5=excellent, 4=above average, 3=average, 2=below average, 1=poor.

Note: Program outcomes data are available by request. Please send an email message to the program director, Dr. Liz Smith, at [email protected].

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must apply for admission to Middle Tennessee State University.

Although there is not a separate admission to the DPD students should be aware of the B or better letter grade requirement for many of the prerequisite courses.  These letter grade requirements are to ensure students will be better prepared in the more rigorous junior and senior level courses, as well as be more competitive when applying for dietetic internships. Please see the academic map for the courses and prerequisite grade requirements.

Program Costs and Expenses

Current university tuition costs and expenses can be found on the MTSU tuition website. Students enrolled in the senior-level experiential learning (EXL) courses will be required to obtain:

  • Liability insurance,
  • Proof of negative tuberculosis (TB) skin test, (Note: If you don't have proof Student Health Services can provide the TB Skin Test for $15)
  • Name tag (Approximately $12 to $14)
  • MTSU DPD polo shirt (Approximately $25)

Students will not be required to locate their own EXL sites and/or practitioners; however, students will need to provide their own transportation to the learning sites. Students are responsible for the costs associated with these requirements.

Program Completion

All students who successfully complete the degree requirements, as listed on the Requirements page, will receive a verification statement when grades and/or transcripts are officially posted.  Note:  Students who are only completing the DPD course requirements and not obtaining a degree in Nutrition & Food Science must provide the program director with an official transcript from the university in which the undergraduate degree was obtained before a verification statement will be granted.

Dietetic Internship

Dietetic Inclusive Centralized Application Services (DICAS)
Most internship programs are using the Online centralized application. The online application must be completed by the stated deadline for both the fall and spring application periods.  Applications are typically due December or January for a March 1 decision or in September for a November decision. Currently, the fee to use DICAS is $50.00 for the first application submitted and $25.00 for each additional application.  Note: Most internship programs also have a separate application fee that you must pay directly to the program. 

Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR)

Nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered (NDTRs), are trained in food and nutrition. They play an important role on health-care and food service management teams. MTSUDPD graduates who choose not to apply for a supervised practice program during their senior year or after graduation are eligible to earn the NDTR credential. After completing the degree in dietetics, program graduates must pass the national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR's website. In order to maintain the credential, a NDTR must complete continuing professional educational requirements.

Student Resources

Professional Licensure Disclosure

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nutrition and Food Science with a concentration in Dietetics at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is accredited by the American Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)  and by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Completion of this program is the first of several steps required for registered dietitian nutritionist licensure in the state of Tennessee (https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/health-professional-boards/dn-board.html). Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether this program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. Students in the BS in Nutrition and Food Science—Dietetics program who plan to seek licensure outside the state of Tennessee should consult the Commission on Dietetic Registration website at https://www.cdrnet.org/state-licensure for the most current information about licensure procedures in the US state or territory in which they plan to practice and discuss their plans with their advisor.​

Graduate Testimonials

I felt VERY prepared for my internship! Sometimes I even thought I was better prepared and had more knowledge than my fellow interns! During my first rotation, my preceptor told me that I set the bar high for other interns!
-Yuliia, Class of '22, Recently finished NHC internship and working at Summit Medical Center as a Clinical RD

I’ve been doing my NutraCo orientation this week (9-5) and I just wanted to let you know I already feel very prepared!! Everything we have gone over so far has been things I’ve known how to do and felt very comfortable doing it. Once again feeling very thankful I found my way to the MTSU program and that you guys prepared us so well!
-Owen, Class of '23, Current intern at NutraCo and enrolled in the Master of Professional Studies - Leadership in Nutrition at MTSU

The MTSU DPD program’s experiential learning activities gave me an edge in gaining acceptance to my top-choice (Vanderbilt Medical Center) internship program. Thanks to unique activities, such as health coaching real clients, performing nutrition assessments in the medical simulation lab, and developing recipes for a public school system, I was able to prove my readiness to excel as a future RD.
- Amanda, Class of '18, Works at Vanderbilt Medical Center as a Clinical RD

The faculty made the dietetics program both challenging and fun. I felt more than prepared and was successful with the next steps of my career in dietetics following graduation.
- Jericho, Class of '19, Interned at UK Healthcare (University of Kentucky) and works at Central Texas Veterans Affairs as a Clinical RD

The Nutrition and Food Science Dietetics Program at MTSU exceeded my expectations. It set me up for a rich understanding of food while giving me the tools I needed to succeed in this career field. 10/10 would recommend!
- Rebekah, Class of '19, Interned at Vanderbilt Medical Center and was commissioned as a RD in the U.S. Air Force

This program not only prepared me for the internship but also exposed me to various aspects of the field. I enjoyed every moment of these hands-on experiences, from connecting with the older adults at St. Clair to witnessing food production at Sysco to touring a dialysis center.
- Stacy, Class of '21, Interned at Vanderbilt Medical Center and working in NYC as a RD

The nutrition and food science degree program at MTSU exceeded all my expectations. The courses were engaging and relevant, providing a comprehensive understanding of the field. The knowledgeable faculty members and practical hands-on experiences equipped me with the skills and confidence I needed to pursue a successful career as a Registered Dietitian.
- Nicholas, RDN, Class of '18, Interned at Vanderbilt and owns Halcyon Health, PLLC

I completed my bachelors in nutrition and food science with a concentration in dietetics in 2020. This program thoroughly prepared me for my internship and professional career through a variety of academically challenging projects like case studies and patient simulations. I grew a lot during my four years in this program and I will always cherish the memories made with my fellow peers and the supportive staff.
- Anna, Class of '20, Interned at the VA in Memphis and now works for the Memphis VA as a clinical RD

 

 

 

 

 

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